How to plan the perfect retreat in Hocking Hills
Are your employees looking a little ragged after the busy season? Do you need a truly special place to reconnect with high-school friends who’ve drifted away? Are you in a writer’s or artist’s group, and need the perfect non-stimulus to finish that big project? Look no further than Southeastern Ohio’s gorgeous Hocking Hills, the Midwest’s favorite “secret” place to host a group or retreat.
The stunning views and abundant natural beauty is well known to couples kindling romance and lovers of the outdoors, but the area is uniquely set up for larger groups, too, with many of the area resorts offering luxurious multi-person cabins at affordable rates.
Still, a successful retreat requires some planning, and there are secrets to coordinating any group trip.
Location, location, location …
With so many amazing lodges, each of them resplendent with amazing views of a gorgeous area year-round, you’d be hard-pressed to find a poor location in the area for your retreat. However, every group is different, and factors such as likely seasonal weather can have an effect on the practicality of your location.
Does the lodging require a drive off-road, and if so, is everyone’s vehicle practical for making the commute — even if it’s raining? While most resorts in the area offer accessibility for the disabled, some are better suited to physical aids such as wheelchairs or crutches than others. If your retreat will host the elderly or those with physical disabilities, it’s wise to ask about accessibility before booking.
With many retreats, particularly those associated with business, the information retreat leaders are trying to get across can get lost. Breaks are great opportunities to discuss the information, and a peaceful hike near the cabin is essential … as is the time to take the hike!
Be sure to include time away from the group for those who want it, and while nearly every resort has acreage with walking trails, large resorts with many cabins, like Old Man’s Cave Chalets, can help ensure you’re close enough to a conversation-worthy hiking trail.
Empty stomachs, empty minds
No one can concentrate on your presentation if they can’t hear you over the growling of their belly. Larger groups are advised to consider catering options as at least a supplement to grilling out or preparing your own food, as cooking and cleaning up for a lot of people can cost valuable time for meetings, campfires, or relaxing — and what is a retreat if not a vacation by a different name?
Fortunately, your options are extensive in Hocking County. Lancaster’s Ale House 1890 is not only a great restaurant in cozy downtown Lancaster, they also offer catering services throughout the region, and have a great, chef-style menu. The Ale House features made-from-scratch offerings, much of which is locally sourced, and offer a selection of vegetarian options, as well — an important consideration when planning your retreat.
Have we emphasized the relaxation part?
Whether you’re bringing down your buds for a bachelor party or trying out a whole new brand concept for your business, the tranquility and stunning natural beauty prevalent throughout the area will give your group a well-deserved break from the bustle of city life.
If something more active is desired, team-building activities abound. Or you could bring along yard-game favorites, like badminton (when was the last time you played badminton? It’s great!) and Frisbees. Bring a book. Or, just bring a loaded, care-worn mind, and let the ancient trees absorb your stress, and the numerous waterfalls wash those cares away!
The Hocking Hills is the best place to refresh your group’s minds, bodies, and spirits.